Get to know our new Co-CEO: Carolyn Gillespie

Monday, 12 February 2024 at 11:20 pm
Image of Carolyn Gillespie with text 'Get to know our Co-CEO'

Our new Co-CEOs, Carolyn Gillespie and Sarah Wilson, have hit the ground running since starting in their roles just a few weeks ago. 

Between them they bring decades of experience in the mental health and wellbeing sector and a deep understanding of the lived experience of people with mental ill health and psychological distress, and their carers and supporters.  

We’ll be checking in with Carolyn and Sarah over the coming weeks as they settle into their roles to find out what they’re enjoying most about their work, what they’re learning along the way, and what they’re looking forward to in the months ahead. 

Q. Carolyn, how have you found the role so far and what have been your first priorities in getting established as Co-CEO? 

A: “It’s been really fantastic to land at the Collaborative Centre and see the real impact that lived experience leadership is having in reforming the mental health and wellbeing system. Sarah and I have hit the ground running, meeting with key partners including VMIAC, Tandem, The Royal Melbourne Hospital, University of Melbourne and Transforming Trauma Victoria – as well as a significant number of other people and organisations that will help us with this work. I’m really enjoying meeting and engaging with so many people committed to the same goal.” 

Q. What do you see as being the biggest challenges you’re likely to face in bringing the aims of the Collaborative Centre to life? 

A: “I don’t think we can underestimate how big this reform task is. Some really fantastic groundwork has been done, and the Collaborative Centre has a huge role to play in bringing together lots of different people and perspectives to drive change. In all of this though, we must continue to centre and elevate lived and living experience in genuine and meaningful ways. It will take time, and the efforts of many different individuals and organisations, to bring the vision of long-lasting positive reform to life.” 

Q. What are you most looking forward to in the coming months? 

A: “We have a really exciting journey ahead. Over the next few months we’ll see our Lived Experience Framework come to life. We’ll be moving to a new home in Carlton where we’ll be able to engage more directly with our partners and the broader community. And we’ll be continuing to build our partnerships locally, nationally and internationally to make our mental health system better for everyone.”